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August 03, 1977 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-08-03

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POOe Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesdoy, August 3, 1977

Pa9e Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesdoy, August 3, 1971

Congress ponders transit funding

-_..

WASHINGTON (A'-An energy
proposal now before Congress
would establish for the first time
a trust fund to finance mass
transit systems mach like the
fund that provides billions for
the nation's coast-to-coast high-
way system.
The proposal -which would in-
crease the money available for
mass transit and provide long-
term funding for bus and rail
projects - has the endorsement
of President Carter and the
House leadership.

MONEY FOR the new fund
would come from increasing the
current four cent per gallon fed-
eral tax on gasoline to nine
cents per gallon. Half of this
new money would go to mass
transit and the other half would
go to highway projects.
The proposed gasoline tax, an
amendment to the energy pack-
age, is scheduled for action in
the House today. An adminis-
tration head count indicates the
vote will be close, sources said.
Department of Transportation

officials said the tax would pro-
vide an estimated $2.7 billion
for mass transit and an equal
amount for highway needs an-
nually. The tax would go into
effect on Jan. 1, 1979.
IN CONTRAST to the $2.7 bil-
lion windfall, only $755 million
currently is e a r m a r k e d for
spending on mass transit for
fiscal year 1979.
"This fund would assure long-
term financing of local public
transit programs"and would help

House OK's Carter's insulation an
(ContInued from Pagel ) in the current four cent per The incentives, still to be
ulation. gallon federal tax on gasoline, voted on, include tax credits of
Carter has urged a continua- with the proceeds to go to mass up to $400 through 1984 for in-
tion of price controls but allow- transit and construction of non- creasing home insulation.
ing the present $1.45 federal interstate highways. Besides establishing a mech-
price ceiling for each thousand NOTHING IN the energy pro- anism for increased voluntary
cubic feet of gas to rise to $1.75 gram would make it mandatory conservation by homeowners,
as a means of encouraging pro- for homeowners to insulate the House also approved a $2
ducers to search for untapped their houses. However, the pro- billion low interest loan pro-
gas reserves. posed tax incentives and high- gram for low and moderate in-
CARTER HAS also given his er taxes-on fuels are meant to come families to insulate their
support to a five cent increase encourage them to insulate. homes.

cities plan and develop alterna-
tive transit programs for citi-
zens," said officials of the Na-
tional League of Cities and the
U.S. Conference on Mayors.
"We have argued consistently
for a tie between the national
energy. and transportation pro-
grams," they said. "The amend-
ment establishes the tie."
OPPONENTS OF the tax note
that the energy plan already
would raise the price of gasoline
through the proposed well-head
tat" on oil-estimated to cost
motorists an extra five cents to
seven cents a gallon.
C a r t e r' s endorsement is a
switch from his original energy
plan, which completely ignored
masstransportation as a means
of conserving fuel.
The measure is being offered
by Rep. J a m e s Howard (D-
N.J.), chairman of the House
surface transportation subcom-
mittee. While- creating the tran-
sit trust, it does not specify
whether the money must be
used for capital spending such
as purchasing buses or building
light-rail systems, or whether
the money can be used to sub-
sidize operating costs. Authoriz-
ing legislation due for action in
September would settle that is-
sue, said Thomas Tatum of the
League of Cities,

A LOBBYIST for the U.S. Con-
ference of Mayors said hundreds
of cities with bus systems will
be able to draw matching funds
for improving their equipment
and, expanding their services if
the tax goes through.
Another source said that How-
ard has indicated that the Urban
M a s s Transportation Adminis-
tration will be renamed this fall
under the Department of Trans-
portation's reorganization plan,
and that if the transit trust is
approved, money will be avail-
able for small cities and rural
areas which can show a need
for public transportation such as
bus service.
The transit fund also would
make money available for ma-
jor rail system projects in New
York, Philadelphia, Boston and
C h i c a g o and could provide
money for proposed downtown
loop transit systems in Miami,
Jacksonville, Indianapolis, St.
Louis, Baltimore and Detroit,
sources said.
David Garrick, the 18th-cen-
tury British actor, began his
career as a wine merchant but
soon turned to the stage. After
his death in 1779, Edmund
B-urke wrote of him, "He raised
the character of his profession
to the rank of a liberal art.

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